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Canceled with 10 hours notice

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#1 tjsteadicamjr


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Posted 01 August 2005 - 11:52 PM

I've been dayplaying on a movie locally, and everything has been going along fairly well. Comming to the last of the series of days I was going to work with them though they have called me at 9:10pm the night before i was supposed to work at 8am the following morning. Like anyone I am at least put off, since i have set aside other work for this, as well as taken up most of my day today prepping for the job. What would you do in my situation? Should i charge them the day rate because they havent given me 24hour notice, or should i let it slide and hope for work in the future based on a good attitude and willingness to be flexible.

Personally I'd just like to smack them with a bat.... Any help?
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#2 Markus Rave

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Posted 02 August 2005 - 02:30 AM

Very delicate situation. You like the client and he gives you many jobs just let go. If this was the kind of client you would rather not work for again charge them. You might consider half rate also if you see more jobs coming. That shows you are willing to "forgive" them. Mention you normally charge 100% but since it´s a new client .... you know the rest.
I never charge a good client except I know their client will pay for the loss.
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#3 bobgilles


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Posted 02 August 2005 - 02:34 AM

I usually work for the same 2 directors on my jobs, so I would let it slide in my case.
Although I think that if I were in your situation, I would charge a reasonable cancellation fee like every other independant service provider does. Just invoice them for $350 booking fee, for example; If you call for a tow truck driver and he shows up to find that you have suddenly fixed your car, he will ask for a $35 call charge (or hook charge). I think that invoicing for a full day rate may not be apropriate, but I am curious what the operators with professional agents usually do in a situation like this.
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#4 thomas-english


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Posted 02 August 2005 - 03:41 AM

I have had a few situations recently when I have gone through the kit hire company for the job. When the client to the kit company cancelled with 14hours notice. The kit co. said quite clearly, "No thats full rate" . If it had been me on my little own I would have been rubbish, but the kit firm charged full rate and told me to invoice them for full rate.

When I was speaking to an agent the other day who was trying to take me on. They said what was normal was (in the UK)

within 24hrs of call time = full rate
24 to 48 hours = half rate
confirmed booking cancellation = 25%

You may be surprised that the accounts department simply expect an invoice from you for cancelling. Remember there is already a political devide between the DoP/Director against production, and its the DoP/Director combo that hired you and like you... maybe just send them a 25% to 50% invoice with a covering note as a little slap in the face, I don t mind annoying production a bit because I know that the DoP won t care and would probably respect me for it even.

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#5 JamieSilverstein


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Posted 02 August 2005 - 05:41 AM

I have to side with Thomas on this one. Poor planning on the part of production is not your problem. They are equipped to handle the cancellation of you or any other day player on the job with proper compensation, possibly paying you your rate, but maybe not the rental fee for your rig. There are few if any productions who are going to pay you without your asking however.

So, were I in the situation, I would probably very matter of factly ask about the cancellation fee for the day, and let them propose one, knowing that they should be happy to give me my rate for the day.

If you feel that this is not going to work, or if you don't want to tred on the politics of a long standing relationship with a producer, you might want to broach the idea of a future policy of cancellation fee for the next time, so that you don't lose income by turning down other work. If production is not understanding, you should think twice about working with that particular company in again. Its all about business and being fair.
Good luck.
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#6 Rich Cottrell

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Posted 02 August 2005 - 08:56 AM

I have a question about this topic too.
Here in Philadelphia, when I work as a camera operator or steadicam operator, I have always done the less then 24 hours = full rate.
If it was 24 to 48 hours, I sometimes let it slide and I sometimes charged 1/2 rate.

I have never heard of charging a "booking fee", but most of my work is still as a camera operator without gear. But I would like you know more about that topic?

Now here is my question.
What if you were booked for say 10 days work three months ago, then 50 hours before the job-- you were cancelled. Technically under the 24/ 24-48 rule they owe you nothing. But ten days would be a big lose. and if they booked you three months ago the odds are you lost at least a few days work in addition to the 10 they cancelled you for.

Or what if they called 40 hours before the job and cancelled you for the whole 10 days. Technically, they only owe you 1/2 rate for 1 day but nothing else.

Or what if they called it off with less then 24 hours notice. That would mean they owe you one day at full rate and one day at 1/2 rate but nothing else.

I have only once had a problem with a client [HDNet] canceling me for a multi day gig where I did not get paid some sort of compensation. Most of my work is just a day or two here, and a day or two there. So?

I was wondering what some of you do when you are booked on a multi day gig to protect yourself from taking "the big hit" if the client bags the gig right before shoot?
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#7 JamieSilverstein


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Posted 02 August 2005 - 09:31 PM

Its always tough to balance a client with other work, and to balance a long promised job with other work. That is the nature of the business. If work comes along during the "booked job" then you should call the production company and make sure that the job is still on and that the booking is still firm. If there is any waver what so ever, you should take the other job in my estimation. A bird in the hand is work two in the bush............
As for demanding a full cancellation for the 10 days, I am not sure that I would go that far. Stuff happens to production companies the same way they happen to us. Cancellations are not uncommon, and unawarding of jobs is pretty common too. Maybe you can ask if the company received any sort of cancellation from the client (providing that the job is a commercial or industrial), and if so to please compensate you accordingly.
As far as movies are concerned.... that is a harder nut. People are fired, not rehired, changed, and replaced on films on a whim. I have done my fair share of pictures and tv shows and I never spend the last weeks check until I have worked the last week of the picture.
I guess what I am trying to say is that unless it is a union shoot and the specific rules of cancellation apply, you have to accept that we are daily hires and that the most we can expect from a producer is a days pay. If you get more, you have found a producer that you should work for as often as possible.
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#8 Jeff Muhlstock SOC

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 09:23 AM

Always a delicate subject, I have a pretty standard policy that seems to work, I will always ask for a "Firm" if I have other work that comes in conflict. In other words, I will say you have to garantee the day, "buy it". This way they know up front that they have bought the day from me. Its fair and reasonable. At the same time if I dont have other work conflicting, I may be more likely to allow them to slide. If its no loss for me, I dont make them pay. I play this with simple honesty. However, Different union's have different rules regarding cancellation times, If they are playing by the rules, we must abide by them.
With all of this said, each situation has to be delt individually. Just be fair, it seems to work, good carma.

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#9 Mitch Gross

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 02:46 PM

If you really think this production might give you future work, then you could treat it as a credit. Give you a partial payment for the lost day with the proviso that if they hire you for another shoot day you will apply that payment towards that work day, like a deposit. I've done this a few times with producers and it has always been a good incentive towards them bringing me in for more work, if only to get more value out of their money. Sort of a win-win situation. But you need to make it clear that this credit only applies to this specific production--I just had a producer who felt I owed him a day from one job try to use it on another.
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#10 Rhys Duncan

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 12:42 AM

i have been cancelled a few times and have never charged a cancellation fee in my life , i work a lot and quite frankly appreciate the days off , for me the goodwill generated has far outweighed the negatives , life is to short to anguish over these things , you win some lose some but overall i would rather have a rule that people hire me because i am good at what i do and if the job falls over it falls over , yes it is bad planning sometimes , yes people do make mistakes , for me if i payed for every mistake i made i would be a very poor person , :)
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